Introduction: Installing Variable Speed Pool Pump, Filter and Plumbing

Installing plumbing for a pool is kind of a art form.  Sure getting things connected and working is pretty easy, but making things look good and work efficiently is where the art comes in.  It is quite easy to have tubing running all over the place making things hard to maintain.  I looked around on the web for examples of other peoples plumbing designs.  Found a few good ideas but there was nothing that really worked for me and my budget.  Others were just plain dumb looking.  So I decided to post some pictures of what I came up with.  Maybe you will find something here that you can use for your design.

This first page is what I started with that was installed by professional pool installer... I think they just wanted to get the job done...  I hated this design.   Two pump that are not variable speed and with motors way in that back that are hard to service.  The filter is too small for the pool and constantly had to be cleaner.  Valves installed at different angles?  broken slab. inefficient heater.  Grass and weeds growing around tubing... can't even get a weed wacker in there too good.  To get to the electrical box I had to lean over all the tubing as there was no way to get any closer.... look bad to me.

Step 1:

The next step was to figure how what new hardware I wanted.  Then I determine how it would be arranged and where all the tubing would run.  I drew a model of all the parts (heater, filter, air blower, pump, values) on AutoCAD and played around until I came up with a design that I liked.  Every thing in the drawing below is new plumbing... I did not replace any tubing that goes to the pool.  Therefore my design has to match up to existing plumbing and keep tubing from crossing.  I also wanted easy access to the pump since it has a control panel on it.  The filter, heater, and electrical box also needed to be accessible.  Values easy to get to.   Notice that the heater is not connected.  I decided to not install a pool heater at this time... but I wanted the design to be easily modified so that a heater can be installed at a later date without too much rework.  In the picture below all the tubing drawn as a dotted line are under the ground, solid lines are above ground.  All turns are sweeping turns, not sharp right angles for efficiency.

Step 2:

Step 3:

After everything was done I had a problem... There were air bubbles coming from the water return jets in the side of the pool.  It took a lot of investigation to find out where the problem was... I feared the worst.  Luckily I was able to track down the tube where water is drawn in from the pool skimmer, but it was under the ground.  I had no idea that air could be sucked in to the tubing when it was packed in dirt 1 foot beneath the ground.  After removing a few pavers and digging the dirt I found the problem... I had used some old pvc glue and had a bad glue joint where the old tubing meets the new tubing.  Its very important to get good joints.  Notice the black duct tape around a couple joints above ground.  that was an attempt to locate leaks above ground.

Step 4: After a Few Years I Decided to Paint the PVC Tubing Black.

The original plan had always called for painting the tubing to protect it from the sun. PVC will turn yellow and become brittle if left in direct sunlight. It took me a couple years to finally get around to painting the tubing. I used a couple gloss black spray cans for plastic parts.. I used blue painters tape to protect the stuff I didn't want to get paint on and sprayed the rest. I probably should have protected the pavers too... but I got lazy so there is some over spray on the pavers next to the tubing that goes into the ground. I figure it will wear off in a few weeks or I can just turn those bricks over.